Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

Sarah Lopez

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., University of California, Berkeley

Sarah Lopez



ARC 388R • Cultl Lndscp And Ethnogr Meths

01095 • Fall 2019
Meets W 9:30AM-12:30PM SUT 2.110
(also listed as AMS 391, CRP 388)

What is a cultural landscape and how can landscape and building elements narrate unique histories of people and place? This class is organized around the form, style, and context of buildings types and landscape elements—bungalows, shopping malls, libraries, courthouses, plazas, apartments, the grid—to examine 19th and 20th century U.S. built environment history, and provide students with a toolkit to conduct their own architectural and spatial analysis. We examine the American landscape as a composite of discrete building types and landscape elements that embody social, political, and cultural processes. Such examination allows us to explore the histories, identities, and cultural transformations of individuals who might not be included in canonical histories. This approach also spans multiple scales—from the assembling of the American grid to the building and inhabitation of individuals’ workers cottages. Students will be asked to use various cultural landscape methods to write a primary research paper on Austin’s built environment as text. Our methodological toolkit will include diagrams, architectural plans, town plats, aerial photographs, Sanborn maps, material analysis, city directories and interviewing.

AMS 391 • Cultl Lndscp And Ethnogr Meths

31279 • Fall 2018
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM BTL 101

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

AMS 391 • Migratory Urbanism

31284 • Fall 2018
Meets W 9:00AM-12:00PM SUT 2.110

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

ARC 388R • Bordrlnds/Mexcn Landscapes

00902 • Spring 2018
Meets TH 3:00PM-6:00PM SUT 3.112
(also listed as LAS 381, MAS 392)

This course is aimed at building a substantial body of knowledge about the built environment history and cultural landscapes of an extended U.S. – Mexico border region, with a focus on the corridor between Monterrey, Mexico and San Antonio, Texas. Students will be active curators of this history. A cultural landscape approach to the history of the U.S. is one that utilizes the built environment as a primary source of evidence of American culture and life. Cultural landscape scholars have typically focused on the built environment and history of the U.S., and this scholarly tradition has its origins in U.S. academic institutions. This course expands the scope of Cultural Landscape Studies and Built Environment History, turning its attention to Mexico, as well as the border region that is directly impacted by its proximity to Mexico. 

ARC 386M • Migratory Urbanism

01194 • Fall 2017
Meets W 9:00AM-12:00PM SUT 2.110
(also listed as CRP 388, LAS 388)

Migration is an inherently spatial phenomenon; the study of migration is the study of places, people, processes, and the state. This course addresses the history of 20th century international migration—with a focus on US-Mexico migration post WWII—through the lens of the built environment. The aim of this course is to bring migration theories and histories into the realm of architecture and planning to equip spatial practitioners with tools for thinking through how contemporary movement interfaces with the production of space. An interdisciplinary approach to the study of migration will incorporate urban and architectural histories, political economy, urban theory, ethnographies of individuals, families, and communities, material culture, and film to explore how North American cities and towns (including Mexico) and border regions are influenced by the continuous flow of people, ideas, dollars, and desire. We will engage concepts such as assimilation, transnationalism, diaspora, borderlands, and frontier. We will investigate international remittance development, multi-scalar migrant neighborhoods, and housing. Students will learn methods for conducting primary research on migration and places, and write short papers on contemporary or historical migration and Austin’s built environment.

ARC 386M • Migratory Urbanism

01138 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM SUT 2.112
(also listed as CRP 388, GRG 396T, LAS 388)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this class. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Study of critical theories and practices that affect the built environment.


GRG 356T • Migratory Urbanism

37828 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM SUT 2.110

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    The University of Texas at Austin
    210 W. 24th Street | Mailcode F9200
    GWB 1.102
    Austin, TX 78712